Differences between the
RLDS and LDS Doctrine and Covenants
by Jon Tandy
This page lists sections that are contained only in the LDS Doctrine and Covenants (LDC) or the RLDS Doctrine and Covenants (RDC).
Revelations to Joseph Smith, Jr. in LDC
The following sections are revelations given to, or purported to be given to, Joseph Smith Jr. and found in the LDC, but not the RDC. The first set below are recorded in RLDS Church History (RCH) or Times and Seasons. While these are not scripture in the RLDS church, many members consider them to be true revelations.
- Joseph's early experiences with Angel Moroni and John the Baptist (LDC 2, 13)
- Letter to W. W. Phelps on the "one mighty and strong" (LDC 85)
- Prophecy on the Civil War (LDC 87)
- Joseph's visions and prayers at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple (LDC 109, 110)
- Revelations to Lyman Sherman, William Marks, the Apostles (LDC 108, 117, 118)
- Revelations on Far West and Adam-ondi-Ahman (LDC 115, 116)
- Letters and prophecies of Joseph Smith from Liberty Jail (LDC 121, 122, 123). Section 121 has been changed from the original to support plurality of gods.
- Joseph's vision of his brother Alvin in Celestial Glory (LDC 137)
The following revelations in the LDC are not recorded in the RCH.
- Questions and answers about the Book of Revelation (LDC 77) and the Book of Isaiah (LDC 113)
- Revelation on priesthood (LDC 84)
- Revelations to Saints in Salem Mass., David Patten, to Saints in Iowa, Brigham Young, (LDC 111, 114, 125, 126, 136)
Revelations on Baptism for the Dead
The practice of baptism for the dead is accepted by the LDS church but not the RLDS. This doctrine is contained in LDC Sections 124, 127, 128 (RDC Sections 107, 109, 110). These sections were removed to the Appendix by the 1970 RLDS World Conference. See article on baptism for the dead for more discussion on this topic.
Church Law on Marriage
The original teaching of the church on marriage was that one man could be married to only one woman, and that when either died the other was free to remarry. RDC Section 111 contains the law of the church on this matter. After Joseph's death, this section was removed from the LDS Doctrine and Covenants, and replaced with the doctrines of polygamy and "celestial marriage" (marriage for "time and eternity") in LDC Sections 131 and 132. What is now RDC section 108A was also removed from the LDC, perhaps because it referred to the original section on marriage being accepted by the church. See article on marriage for more discussion on this topic.
Revelations unique to the LDS/RLDS church history
The following sections were received by the LDS and RLDS churches after their division. Thus, neither church's Doctrine and Covenants contain those sections which are unique to the other church's history.
- LDC 138 is a vision received by Joseph Fielding Smith in 1918
- LDC also contains two "Official Declarations", one in 1889 officially repealing the doctrine of polygamy, and one in 1978 extending the right of priesthood to "all worthy male members of the Church...without regard for race or color."
- RDC sections 114 and following were received by the Reorganized Church (RLDS) during the leadership of Joseph Smith III and his successors. Many fundamental RLDS members do not accept any sections after 144, because of the doctrinal changes in these revelations and in the church leadership under W. Wallace Smith, Wallace B. Smith, and W. Grant McMurray.
Pearl of Great Price
The LDS Doctrine and Covenants is usually bound with the "Pearl of Great Price", which contains several items, many of which are accepted by the RLDS church.
- The Book of Abraham, which includes reference to plurality of gods, is rejected by the RLDS Church.
- The Book of Moses, which includes revelations to Moses and Enoch, are included in the RLDS Inspired Version of the Bible in the first chapters of Genesis. Moses Chapter 1 (revelation to Moses regarding the Creation) is contained in RDC Section 22. Moses Chapter 7 (revelation to Enoch) is contained in RDC Section 36.
- The section titled "Joseph Smith--Matthew" contain corrections to the Book of Matthew, which are included in the RLDS Inspired Version.
- "Joseph Smith--History" contains a portion of Joseph's own history of his early life and experiences, which are mentioned in the RLDS Church History.
- "Articles of Faith" are accepted by the RLDS Church, but are not considered scripture.